ICD-10 is just around the corner. In October of this year, things are going to get hectic! The ICD-10 transition will result in an increase of about 55,000 codes – a huge challenge for any medical practice. EMRs and new quality metrics from the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are adding to what seems like a huge heap of administrative work. Medical practices are also concerned about the costs of the transition itself.
The ICD-10 transition was originally supposed to be implemented by October of last year, but due to complaints from medical groups such as the AMA, this date was postponed. The major concerns?
-Effect on practices existing workflows
-Cost of the transition itself
-Increase in administrative man hours
-The time taken away from patient care
Recently, Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced new laws that would halt the new code sets, claiming that the implementation of ICD-10 would put “strain” on the medical profession – a community who should be focusing on patient care instead. Poe was supported by various medical specialty organizations, stating that the changes would affect most business processes within a medical practice.
How much is the transition going to cost?
The AMA has commissioned two studies to find out the specific costs for implementing the new codes. The first study was conducted in 2008, and the second completed last year. In the most recent research, it was found that implementation costs could be as much as three times more than what was originally predicted six years earlier. However, the costs involved would depend on various factors, such as the size of a medical practice, the vendor, and the software used. For example, the changes are expected to cost:
Small Practice– between $56,639 and $226,105
Medium Practice– between $213,364 to $824,735
Larger Practice– between $2,017,151 and $8,018,364
Recent research has suggested that only 21% of medical practices believe they are on track with efforts to make the switch over to ICD-10. In a similar poll last year, it was found that 74% of those had yet to implement a plan for the change. So, what concerns did medical practices have? Well, 59% believed that there would be a potential impact on cash flow and revenue, while 41% thought that payers just weren’t ready when it came to the new changes.
Whether it comes this October or a year from now, the ICD-10 transition and other healthcare changes are most definitely in the future. Applied Medical Systems in Durham, NC can work with your practice to make sure you are prepared for the ICD-10 transition. Our staff of professional billers and coders are equipped to handle your practice’s transition. Contact us today to learn more about our practice management services.